Our inner responses to dusk can be as varied as we are. Many of us could probably describe how a sunset makes us feel. What we might not always know is technically why the setting sun can be so striking to us.
The answer lies in variables that come together at once. Our analytical mind – our left brain – picks up on them, paving the way for our heart’s interpretation to follow.
What Makes a Great Sunset?
A beautiful sunset is enhanced by certain details. For example, when you’re on or around South Haven’s beaches, watch for a setting sun in a sky with clouds close by: they can reflect the sun’s rays with splendor. Another factor is color layers that join water and sky. Look for dark blues, deep oranges, mixed reds, soft pinks and shades of violet.
Photo: Chris McGuire
Also, keep in mind the sun doesn’t always have to be the focus of a spectacular sundown. Look around for the setting sun’s effect on other objects, such as trees, buildings, rocks, cars and even other people. All can be touched in special ways by the sinking star.
The sun’s height in the sky – its amplitude – influences the visual effect of a sunset as well. The higher the sun, the greater the visual display. Consequently, the farther up in the northern hemisphere we are, the greater the sun’s peak amplitude will be.
Amplitude increases at greater intervals once past 30° latitude north. Between 5° and 30°, amplitude ranges only from 24° to 27°. Locations between 40° and 45° jump to amplitudes between 31° and 34°.
At 42° 24' 11" N, South Haven is close in latitude to Barcelona, Spain (41° 23' 0" N), which is considered by some to feature many of Europe’s most distinctive, colorful sunsets.
Photo: Chris McGuire
When Should You Watch for a South Haven Sunset?
To view the calendar of sunset times over South Haven’s beaches, visit our link at http://www.southhaven.org/resources/sunset-schedule.
About the Author
A creative writer for many years, Jon Davis (eloquentarrow.com) paints pictures with his words and captivates readers with distinctive language. He now shares his love for South Haven with us, writing about the experiences you can have only in the Haven. Jon resides in Oswego, IL, with his wife, Kristie, and two daughters. They visit South Haven often to take in the scenic beauty and spend meaningful time as a family.